When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident
Car accidents often leave drivers and passengers with serious injuries, ongoing physical limitations, and high medical bills. An accident victim may also need to take significant time off work, losing considerable income. All of these consequences can weigh financially on accident victims and their families.
Given everything riding on the line, car crash victims must retain experienced legal counsel to represent them as quickly as possible after their accident. Generally, the sooner you have experienced legal counsel representing you after your accident, the better your chances of successfully recovering favorable monetary damages.
A knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your Orange County area can handle your personal injury claim or lawsuit. At the same time, you concentrate on making a full recovery from your injuries. Your lawyer can also litigate your case in court if the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly and reasonably.
In short, your attorney will do everything they can to help you obtain a favorable monetary settlement or litigation result in your car crash case. Your job is to find the right law firm near you with experience handling truck accident claims. Never wait to begin this process.
Ways a Lawyer Can Help After a Car Crash
Following a severe car accident, many accident victims are unsure of the steps they should take to recover the monetary compensation they need. In that regard, an experienced car accident attorney can be beneficial.
Your lawyer may first investigate your car accident circumstances, especially if the insurance company is disputing liability in your accident case. To examine your car crash scenario, your lawyer can appoint an expert accident reconstructionist to visit the car crash scene, speak with witnesses, and review police reports. The accident reconstructionist can also serve as an expert in your case by testifying at a civil jury trial on your behalf.
In addition to investigating your car accident, your lawyer can help you take legal action if you are eligible to do so. In most situations, an accident victim’s attorney will file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
As part of the claims-filing process, your lawyer can gather relevant documentation (including copies of police reports), witness statements, medical records, and medical bills. Your lawyer can then assemble a settlement demand package on your behalf, which includes all of this documentation. The insurance company will subsequently review all of the available information, and the adjuster may make you an offer to resolve your case through settlement.
Your attorney can also benefit you during settlement negotiations with insurance company representatives. Insurance companies do not have an incentive to settle your case favorably. Instead, they only want to offer you as little monetary damages as possible to resolve your case. Insurance companies want to keep as much of their money in-house as possible, and they can theoretically stand to lose a lot of money if they have to pay out a significant car accident settlement or jury verdict.
Throughout the settlement negotiation process, your lawyer can advocate strongly on your behalf, point out the strengths of your case, and work to secure a favorable settlement result. If the insurance company does not offer you the fair monetary recovery you deserve, your lawyer can threaten the insurance company with a lawsuit and, if necessary, litigate your case in the California State Court System.
Finally, if your case must proceed through litigation, your lawyer can be an invaluable help and resource. First, your lawyer can help you decide whether to accept a pending settlement offer or pursue litigation in your case.
If your case goes through litigation, your lawyer can help you answer written discovery questions from the defense attorney, called interrogatories, and prepare you for your discovery deposition. Your attorney can also attend all litigation proceedings with you, including pretrial/settlement conferences, jury trials, mediation hearings, and binding arbitration proceedings.
During these proceedings, your lawyer can introduce evidence on your behalf and help you pursue the best possible result in your case.
Types of Car Accidents and Their Causes
In many situations, car accidents directly result from another driver’s careless or reckless behavior. When drivers do not take the time to drive safely, serious accidents can occur and cause injuries to drivers and passengers.
Some of the most common car crashes that happen when drivers are careless or inattentive include:
- Head-on collisions, where the fronts of two vehicles strike one another, often with a significant amount of force
- Rear-end accidents, where one vehicle hits the back of another car, usually because the rear driver is tailgating or speeding
- Sideswipe accidents, where two vehicles strike one another while traveling forward in the same direction but in neighboring travel lanes
- T-bone or broadside accidents, where the front of one vehicle hits the side of another vehicle, typically at a highway merge lane or four-way traffic intersection
Most of the time, these accidents result from driver negligence. One common way drivers behave negligently is by exceeding the speed limit. When a driver regularly speeds, they may not stop their vehicle in time to avoid a crash or may lose control of their car, causing multiple collisions with other vehicles.
Next, some traffic accidents directly result from failing to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles, especially at stop signs, yield signs, and traffic lights. Drivers may also fail to yield at highway merge lanes when they do not wait for oncoming traffic to clear.
Next, some motor vehicle accidents result from careless or inattentive driving. Drivers frequently become distracted while driving when they pay attention to mobile devices or in-car entertainment systems. Even hands-free talking, texting, and navigating can be distracting.
Drivers may also become distracted by loud music or passengers in their vehicle, including children in the back seat. When a driver loses focus, they may be unable to see or appreciate an approaching vehicle or pedestrian. Consequently, they may cause a crash that leads to various injuries.
Additionally, some car accidents happen when people drive recklessly, such as by exhibiting road rage. Drivers frequently become angry while behind the wheel when hurrying to their final destination, and others are driving too slowly. In these circumstances, an angry driver might resort to tailgating, speeding, and weaving around traffic to try and get ahead.
Unfortunately, the aggressive driver may negligently cause an accident with one or more vehicles, leaving several other people injured.
Finally, some motor vehicle crashes result from drunk and intoxicated driving. A driver with a conviction for driving under the influence, or DUI, may receive civil penalties, including monetary fines, probation, or jail time. In addition, if they caused an accident due to intoxication, they may also have to pay the accident victim civil damages through their insurance company.
Drunk driving accidents are hazardous because they usually occur at high speeds when impaired drivers lose control of their vehicle. Due to their mental state, an intoxicated driver may be unable to see or appreciate other nearby cars.
Moreover, they may experience blurred vision and delayed reaction time, preventing them from stopping their vehicle in time to avoid a crash. The monetary damages that a drunk driving accident victim ultimately recovers will depend on the circumstances surrounding the collision and the severity of their injuries.
If you recently suffered injuries in a traffic accident because of another driver’s negligence, you should seek out qualified legal help immediately. Otherwise, you may inadvertently jeopardize your right to make a claim or file a lawsuit for monetary damages. Your car accident attorney can help you take the necessary legal steps to maximize your financial recovery and become whole again after your accident.
Recovering Monetary Damages for Car Crash Losses
Most importantly, following a traffic accident, a car accident lawyer can help you make a claim for the monetary recovery you deserve. The damages you receive will depend on multiple factors, including the nature and extent of your injuries, the type of accident, the force of your collision, and other accident-specific circumstances.
First, injured drivers and passengers may recover the total cost of their related medical expenses. Not only can accident victims recover compensation for their past expenses starting on the date of their accident, but they can also recover monetary damages for their anticipated medical costs.
For example, a medical provider might state, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the accident victim will need surgery, physical therapy, or other medical treatment in the future due to their accident-related injuries.
Next, if the accident victim had to miss time from work, they may be eligible to bring a claim for lost income – or for loss of earning capacity if they had to switch to light-duty work and take a pay cut.
In addition to their tangible losses, accident victims may be eligible to recover monetary compensation for their pain and suffering, inconvenience, loss of life enjoyment, loss of the ability to use a body part, permanent disability, lifetime care costs, or loss of spousal companionship and consortium.
Your lawyer can help you determine the damages you may recover as part of your car accident claim or lawsuit. As soon as you retain legal counsel to represent you in your case, your lawyer can file a claim on your behalf and work on recovering the total monetary damage award you deserve.
Talk With an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Today
The sooner you retain legal counsel to represent you in your case, the better off you will be. Car crash victims only have two years from their accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. If the accident victim does not file their lawsuit on time, they will not be eligible to recover financial compensation for their injuries.
Your personal injury attorney in Orange County can immediately start investigating your case, negotiating with settlement adjusters on your behalf, and, if necessary, pursuing litigation to recover the monetary damage award you need. Your lawyer will fight for your legal rights and interests and secure a fair financial award for all your accident-related losses.